New Overnight Developments Abroad: Lots of Data on Final Day of the Quarter

June 30, 2009

The dollar shows overnight declines of 0.6% against the Aussie dollar, 0.4% versus the Swiss franc, 0.3% against the euro and Swissy, and 0.2% against sterling and the yen.  The buck has edged 0.1% lower against the kiwi.

Asian stocks are mixed.  While the Nikkei climbed 1.8%, stocks are down 2.6% in Vietnam, 2.0% in India, 0.8% in Hong Kong, 0.7% in Thailand, and 0.4% in China.  Stocks advanced 1.8% in Australia and 0.8% in New Zealand but are steady in Europe.

The 10-year JGB yield eased 3 basis points to 1.36%.

Oil is up 0.2% at $71.62.  Gold edged 0.1% higher to $941.20.

Japanese unemployment climbed another 2/10ths to 5.2%.  Employment fell 2.1% in the year to May, and the jobs-to-applicants ratio sank to 0.44 from 0.46 in April, eclipsing the 1999 low.  Japanese housing starts (down 30.8%) and construction orders (off 41.9) posted larger-than-forecast on-year declines in May.  The Shoko Chukin index of small business sentiment improved 3.9 points to 38.0, however, with both manufacturing and non-manufacturing improving sharply.  Also, the factory PMI climbed to 48.2 in June from 46.6 in May, 41.4 in April, and 33.8 in March. Export orders had an above-50 reading of 51.2.

Japanese real household spending jumped 2.2% on month in May and posted a 0.3% increased from May 2008.  Real disposable incomes rose 2.1% y/y.

 British consumer sentiment edged up to a 14-month high of minus 25 in June from readings of minus 27 in the prior two quarters.  The Nationwide British house price index surprised on the upside, increasing 0.9% in June from May and dropping just 9.3% y/y, least in 11 months, compared to an 11.3% decline in the year to May.

Business investment in Britain sank 7.6% last quarter and 9.7% from 1Q08.  Real GDP growth was revised to a 50-year worst quarterly decline of 2.4% from minus 1.9% and recorded a record drop of 4.9% from the first quarter of 2008.  The savings rate was revised to a lower 3%.  Consumption fell 1.3% and 3.1% y/y.  Exports tumbled 6.9% and 11.6% from 1Q08.  The greater-than-forecast current account deficit of Gbp 8.54 billion equaled 2.5% of GDP, up from just 0.7% of GDP in 1Q08.

French producer prices fell 0.2% in May and by 6.7% on year. Italian producer prices slid 0.2% m/m and 6.1% y/y.  French public-sector debt rose 6.5% last quarter.

German unemployment increased 31K in June, but the underlying deterioration was more like a gain of 50K.  The jobless rate ticked up to 8.3%.  Employment in April-May was down 0.4% from a year earlier after posting a 0.1% increase in the year to 1Q09.

The Flash reading for on-year consumer price inflation in Euroland was minus 0.1%, after no change in the year to May.  It was a new low for the move.

Euroland M3 growth has slowed sharply to 3.7% in the year to May from 4.9% y/y in April.  M1 growth dropped half a percentage point to 7.9%.  Mortgage loans dipped 0.5% y/y, while lending to non-financial firms slowed to 4.4% from 5.3% in April and 14.2% in May 2008.

Hungary’s current account deficit of EUR 591 million in 1Q09 was 64% smaller than a year earlier.

Australian private credit contracted 0.1% in May and grew just 3.9% over the prior 12 months.

Business sentiment in New Zealand recovered for a fourth consecutive month to 8.3 from 5.5.

South Korean business sentiment also ticked upward to 78 in July from 76 in June and 44 last January.

Swedish retail sales grew 0.2% m/m and 4.4% y/y in May, which was better than was expected.

The Swiss UBS consumption indicator worsened to 0.77 in May from 0.91 in April and was merely half its long-term average reading.

Turkish GDP plunged 13.8% in the year to 1Q09 after an on-year drop of 6.2% in 4Q08.

South African on-year credit growth of 5.7% in May was near to a five-year low.

Malaysia’s current account surplus widened 6% in 1Q09 from 4Q08.

Norwegian retail sales increased 0.9% in May.  Credit grew 7.5% y/y in that economy.

Thailand factory output sank 10% in the year to May, the seventh on-year drop in a row.

The U.S. releases the Case-Shiller house price index, mid-western PMIs and Conference Board consumer confidence index today. Canada reports monthly GDP and producer prices.  Romania’s central bank announces its latest interest rate decision.

Copyright Larry Greenberg 2009.  All rights reserved.  No secondary distribution without express permission.


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